I’m not sure what it is about a quarantine that has made me crave oysters, but this has been the year of dreaming about Wellfleets and Pemaquids and Aunt Dottys.
Earlier this year, my boyfriend and I splurged on a box of Island Creek oysters that came with a shucking knife, and we got pretty good at opening up those salty sweet bivalves that brought a taste of the ocean to us when we were stuck at home.
My 13-year-old, who is getting increasingly confident with sharp objects and raw shellfish, even got in on the action, shucking a dozen on his own with the oyster knife in one hand and a glove on the other.
But not everybody is so into opening their own oysters, and raw oysters aren’t a food that travels well for take-out from a restaurant.
That’s where the newly formed Austin Oyster Company comes in. This business born in the pandemic brings oysters -- and people to shuck them -- to your house. Founder Brendan Yancy started this after his girlfriend had oysters delivered for his birthday in April. Friends wanted to know how they could enjoy a similar experience, without the effort.
He’s now ordering hundreds of fresh oysters from Maine to Massachusetts to clean and shuck for socially distanced backyard dining experiences all over Austin. Everything is set up outside, with shuckers wearing masks and gloves while they open the oysters and answer questions about the specific varieties on the menu.
The service starts at $125 for 24 oysters to $400 for 100 or more oysters, and prices include the oysters, shucking and clean-up. Weekend appointments have been filling up faster each week, and Yancy has already expanded his shucking team.
For more information, go to austinoysterco.com.